Jack Nicholson is brilliant in this, and it's generally very well acted, written, directed throughout. However, it isn't easy viewing, fun at times, distressing at others and certainly not something you'd want to watch too often. It also has one very large plot problem that, for me, totally ruins the credibility of it. (*spoiler* Jack says repeatedly that he needs to escape from the institution, and has many opportunities - he climbs over the fence easily, steals a bus and a boat, yet is returned by the police. Later, he has the window open, some girls visit with booze, yet he gets drunk and 'forgets' to escape by the morning. If I was as desperate to get out as he purports to be, I would've been gone. Helping the other loonies escape wouldn't be my concern. I might leave the doors open for them, but I'd have got the Chief to throw that sink block through the window much earlier on.) All in all, it's a very intense and different film that you really ought to see.